Ric: It’s been a long time coming (Thanks to Megaman 9 and a few other things…) but here’s Kannagi, another one of my Autumn/Winter 08 picks.
Anyway, I love the OP for this series so far, it’s lively, fun and unlike many others seem to be saying, fits the direction the show seems to be going in, with Nagi and Zange (Hakua?) vying for Idol-dom (Is that even a word?…).
This episode picks up exactly where the last one left off, with Zange having just arrived at Jin and Nagi’s house. When asked why she was here, Zange says that she came here for Jin, throwing herself at him and shocking Nagi and Tsugumi into submission, getting a delightfully hilarious reaction from Tsugumi especially.
Zange then mentions that Nagi had told her that all Jin had been eating was unhealthy food, suddenly bringing out a bento filled with all kinds of food, beginning round two of the Jin-a-thon, the cooking round! Zange wows at first with her (Hakua’s) cooking, wowing the judges at all turns. She then raises the idea of Jin chasing out Nagi and living with her, using her…assets to her advantage, only for Tsugumi to stop her before she finishes, saying that she won’t stand for such “improper conduct between high school students”. Nagi then complains, saying that Jin is hers and she has nowhere to go if she gets kicked out.
Zange then suggests a contest, the winner being the one who best prepares dinner. Tsugumi thinks that Zange has the obvious advantage, considering her earlier food. Nagi on the other hand accepts straight away, being promptly dragged out of the room by Tsugumi who thinks that Nagi has gone crazy and they have no chance. Nagi responds, saying that they have a good chance of winning and to just leave it to her.
No one seems to care about poor ol’ Jin’s opinion. =’[
The cooking begins and Nagi rushes ahead, Zange not being able to cut a potato because of lack of cooperation from Hakua, while Nagi speeds ahead, leaving Tsugumi speechless as she watches the two in this epic battle of the spuds. Zange leaves the room, starting an argument with Hakua inside her head.
And it's Nagi by a nose!
Nagi wins this round of the Jin-a-thon, providing a perfect (looking) seafood plate, Tsugumi taking second with her Omelette and Zange taking last with her umm…charcoal?
Zange mentions that she would have won if Hakua wasn’t such an honest person, Nagi saying that it’s not that she can’t cook, just that it’s too troublesome. Unfortunately for her, Jin was in earshot and asks why; even though she can cook, she still makes him do it. Nagi happily says it’s because it’s too troublesome, resulting in a hilarious eruption from Jin.
Next comes the tasting, which Nagi manages to somehow bring forth the most bizarre tastes, which Zange puts down to Nagi being hopeless at tasting.
And so ends the Jin-a-thon! Onto part two of the episode, the arrival of Nagi’s mighty fan club!
Part two begins with a grand Nagi photo-shoot, courtesy of Takako’s brilliant camera-work. As found out by Jin, who finds a wallet on the floor, one of the delightful photos on a card for the Official Nagi fan club.
Of course, Jin at first thinks it’s some kind of prank, until he sees the official homepage. I loved this next scene with all of her fans, it was just so silly, especially the director and well, this guy:
I'm rather scared now...
This guy just cracked me up to no end.
Takako points out that it isn’t that suspicious of a site and that the rules the site have don’t hinder or endanger Nagi in any way, remarking that they’re more like bodyguards, protecting her from being found by the teachers. Jin demands to know who made the site, only to be told by his fellow art club members that they don’t know and that the internet has a high level of anonymity. He says that it’s an invasion of privacy, Takako denying this, saying that the site having the information means that nobody will go digging for any more.
Being asked why she knows so much, Takako happily reveals that she’s a member of Nagi’s fan club, Nagi running in just in time, asking Takako to hide her.
Meanwhile, in the dreaded halls of the teacher’s lounge, a talk is beginning of how to deal with the outsider hidden amongst the student body, the unspeakable evil man who shall be known as Mr. Clean until his name is revealed wonders if a meeting should be called on the matter, the kind Suzushiro saying that simply catching her and issuing a warning should suffice. Mr. Clean then goes on to say that it’s still trespassing and depending on the situation, they may need to call the police.
Jin asks Nagi when she learned about the fan club, Nagi replies, saying that the only reason it has an official name is because she let them do it. Jin asks her why she even comes to school, Nagi replying saying that she comes because there are impurities there that she can now handle, bringing up a brilliant picture of Nagi being “Mario”.
Nagi explains that, because of her fan club’s adoration of her, her powers as a God are increasing, saying that sooner or later she should be able to use some new powers. Good lord, that giggle her voice actor does is adorable.
The next day, Nagi goes into school, swarmed with the loving adoration of her fans, feeling that this is how Zange must feel. Zange then appears, interrupting Nagi’s happy fantasy land spinning and saying she needs to talk to her for a second.
Zange takes Nagi into an alleyway to talk, Nagi thinking that she’s going to attack her, Nagi saying that she has her purification staff with her today. Zange denies being there to attack her, instead asking Nagi to leave the school. Nagi thinks it’s because Zange is jealous that her territory is being taken away, Zange confirms this, saying that as a celebrity, she has a special status in the school, threatening to tell the teachers about Nagi if she doesn’t leave. Nagi questions why she hasn’t just told them, putting forward the idea that it’s because it’s known that her and Zange are sisters and that it would be troublesome for Zange as well. Zange responds, saying that she would deny it, Nagi happily replying “Then the students are mine!”
Zange leaves, saying that Nagi can’t hope to beat her without at least one thousand fans and that she’s far better at garnering people’s devotion. As Zange leaves, a teacher appears, seeing Nagi and instantly realising that she is the girl that the teachers are looking for.
Nagi tries to get out of it by nervously attempting to lie about the situation but the teacher tells her not to worry and that that isn’t what he was there to talk about. He asks if the body that Nagi is in is borrowed from another person, the scene changing before we can see Nagi’s answer.
Someone screams around the school that Nagi has been caught, Takako being the one to alert Jin on this matter, taking him to the student swarmed staff-room where Nagi is being questioned by Hageshima, the bald teacher from earlier.
Jin is filled in by the hilarious flashback of one of Nagi’s fan club members, showing her handcuffed and giving a speech saying she’s fine and that they shouldn’t worry about her.
Jin thinks over in his mind what will happen now that she’s been caught, surmising that he’ll get a call at home, his dad not being there meaning that the call would end up going to Tsugumi’s parents.
Meanwhile, Nagi is being interviewed, Hageshima saying that he has confirmed that she is not a student of the school and asks how long she has been coming in and where she got the uniform. Nagi calmly requests that she talk to Suzushiro, the teacher that she found her earlier, only to find out that he’s talking to the principal, deciding what will be done with her from now on.
Hageshima demands that she stops changing the subject and answers the question. He says that according to the family registry, she isn’t related to Jin, Nagi trying to think of a way out of this inside her head while he asks questions. Nagi gives up, about to answer one of Hageshima’s questions, when her fans speak up, shouting that she’s done nothing wrong and she should stay, that she’s one of them.
Moved and empowered by the student’s cries to keep her there, she pulls out her purification staff, saying that if everyone loves her, then she cannot leave! She then uses her powers and shines a light beam that…reflects off of Hageshima’s head. XD;
Hageshima declares that this is why he hates students, because they all make fun of his head and that his real name is Hagashima, Hageshima meaning “bald island”, a nickname given to him. The scene ends there, moving forward a few days with Jin walking back into the art classroom.
The art club members seem glad to see him, Jin having not appeared for a few days. Takako mentions that what happened the other day got really out of hand, Jin saying that he didn’t need telling about that, noticing she was still checking out the Nagi fan site. Takako mentions that the rules have now changed along with the situation, the situation being that Nagi is now a student of their school, thanks to Suzushiro’s help.
Suzushiro is revealed to be a priest, as well as a teacher of religious studies at the school. Nagi comes up with another of her fabulous, but plausible lies, making everyone (except Jin) believe that she’s a scholarship student. Takako mentions that Suzushiro is also Zange’s (well, Hakua’s) father and that would make her a relative of Nagi’s as well.
The show then flashbacks to when Suzushiro was talking to Nagi in the alleyway. Suzushiro calmly states that she needn’t be so wary of him and that now that he knows who she is, he can’t do anything to her. Nagi, now believing him to be a kind human, decides to answer him truthfully, saying that she is not so wicked as to take the body of another human being and that her body was legitimately made out of the trees of Kannagi. Suzushiro seems pleased, mentioning that he at first thought that she was with Zange, but appears to have been wrong.
Nagi asks if he is related to Hakua in any way, Suzushiro responding by saying that he’s her real father. He also states that he understands that what possesses his daughter isn’t evil, but he believes that his daughter’s body should belong only to herself and that he would like to free her if possible.
Suzushiro then asks if there is a reason that Nagi is coming to the school, Nagi saying that she has an important job to do there and she’s putting everything on the line for it. She assures him that she won’t do anything to harm the students. Suzushiro accepts this answer, simply asking what she intends to do with Hakua. Nagi smiles and happily says that she’ll free her so she can live a peaceful life with her father, saying that to achieve that goal she’ll need help from Suzushiro. Suzushiro says he’s happy to hear that and that because it must be troublesome for her to hide from teachers, he’ll prepare her a seat.
The episode ends with Nagi deciding to go shopping with Jin, showing off her new light power in the dark, only to come across Zange in the dark who came to treat Jin to a feast. Zange looks at Nagi, saying that she’s not the only one who can have her territory taken, Nagi responding by saying she’ll tell her father. Zange calls that unfair and that it has nothing to do with her parents, the argument ending the episode.
Overall, it was a very fun episode with lots of hilarity and insight into how the plot will develop, as well as nicely adding in Nagi to the school group without it seeming forced. Suzushiro seems like he should be very important later on, his talk with Nagi about freeing Hakua being a nice way to tie him into everything and gave a good view of what is to come.
Ric’s Overall Rating for Episode 5: 9/10
Ric’s Anticipation-o-meter: 9/10